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Hurry, Jamieson Boyd 
Sumer is icumen 






|3rf sridcb ta 


pmtersttg of tftarmrta 

J.B. Hurry M.D. 

- <, 







- cucai 
ytcio filto- - 


. mows- (atiao flan capaiiap 


a ti^lmo 

. Cuau 

. m ger 

.1 tt<\UCr Hit ^yg cec,, Irtf nirtjoJWariiHfVj ceticr PcSofrwi 
' &J(S&* ncratm &facnict?mAJH7JUuf ^fic 

gjltti^ao iinmf longc tiffiv - 

Sinner is icumen in. 

Sumer ie teamen in 


Sumer is icumen in 










The Preface 5 

I. The Prologue 7 

II. " Sumer is icumen in " 9 

i. The Canon .... .... .... 9 

ii. The Compofer .... .... 14 

iii. The Tranfcriber .... .... 17 

iv. The Performers .... ... 20 

v. The Manufcript .... .... 21 

vi. The Harmony .... .... 25 

vii. The Notation .... .... 28 

viii. The Modern Score .... .... 30 

ix. "An Amazing Production " .... 36 

III. The Epilogue 47 

The Index 51 


[HIS defcription of " Sumer is icumen 
in" was originally publiftied at the 
time of the unveiling at Reading 
Abbey of a Memorial Tablet, bearing a 
facfimile of the Canon. An enlarged and 
revifed Edition is now iffued in refponfe to a 
widefpread demand and in the hope of 
drawing general attention to this mafterpiece 
of medieval mufic. 

J. B. H. 





HE " Noble and Royal Monaftery of 
Reading," which was dedicated by its 
Founder, King Henry Beauclerc, to 
the glory of God and the fervice of man, has 
left imperishable memories behind it. 

Ereded on a fcale of great magnificence, 
endowed with worldly poffeffions and privileges 
fuch as few religious houfes could rival, 
governed by mitred Abbots famed for their 
piety and learning, Reading Abbey for over 
four centuries filled an important place both 
in Church and State. 

Sumer 10 icumen in. 

The monaftic brethren were equally held in 
honour for their never-failing charity to the 
poor, the pilgrim, the leper. In the words of 
the ancient chronicler they were "a noble 
pattern of holiness and an example of unwearied 
and delightful hofpitality." 

But the moft enduring Memorial of this 
ancient home of religion and learning, more 
enduring even than its impofing ivy-mantled 
Ruins, is that exquifite mufical composition 
" Sumer is icumen in," which has been 
preferved for our perpetual inftruclion and 


it "Sumer is teamen in." 

N the Britifh Mufeum is treafured 
a MS. which contains a famous 
Canon, written by a monk at Reading 
Abbey, about the year 1240. This Canon, 
" Sumer is icumen in," has been defcribed 
as "the moft remarkable ancient composition 
in exiftence." The following pages feek to 
juftify that eulogy. 

i. ftbe Canon. 

" Sumer is icumen in" is the earlieft Canon 
known, and one of the earlieft examples of 
Englifh fecular mufic. Its harmony is far 


Sumer is icuinen in. 

in advance of that of any contemporary 
competition, and reflects glory on the 
Englifh fchool of mufic in the thirteenth 

The Canon forms a part-fong for fix voices. 
The four upper voices have a melody confiding 
of two independent ftanzas, which is begun by 
the leader and taken up by the three others in 
turn, each entering at his appointed interval, 
i.e. four bars later, and on the fame note. The 
mufic for the two lower voices conftitutes a 
true rondel, there being two melodies which 
begin together and are interchanged after 
eight bars. 

There are two fets of words : one in Englifh, 
the other in Latin. 

The Englifh words have been pronounced 
by Dr. J. Wright to be " thirteenth century 
WefTex, Berkfhire or Wiltfhire," ' and are 
admirably adapted to the fimple paftoral 
melody, with its merry graceful fwing. Indeed 
they form one of the fweeteft lyrics in early 
Englifh poetry, when fongs of fpring and 

1 The Oxford Hiftory of Mufic, vol. i., p. 332. 



fummer, of birds and flowers were fo popular. 1 
The note of " the merry cuckowe, meffenger 
of fpring," was frequently imitated in our 
national folk-fongs, 2 and this Canon has been 
well termed the " cuckoo-fong." 

1 The earlieft Englim fong with mufic is probably that 
preferved in a Bodleian MS. (Rawlinfon G. 22) commencing 
" [Mjirie it is while sumer ilaft," and dating from the 
firft half of the thirteenth century. Cf. Catalogue of 
Weftern Manufcripts in the Bodleian, by F. Madan, vol. iii., 
P- 344- 

Another early fong with mufic, alfo preferved in the Bodleian 
(MS. Douce 139), begins "Foweles in the frith, the fifles in the 
flod," and probably belongs to the fecond half of the thirteenth 
century (cf. Madan, I.e., vol. iv., p. 534). A photographic 
reproduction appears in " Early Englifh Harmony " (Plainfong 
and Mediaeval Mufic Society), Plate vii., its modern notation 
being given in the Oxford Dictionary of Mufic, vol. ii., p. 101. 
This fong is far more elementary than the Canon. Its notation 
has the fame character, but the ligatures are more numerous 
and elaborate. 

2 " The cuckoo, who often fings a true third and 
fometimes a (harp third or even a fourth, is the neareft 
approach to mufic in nature." Cf. Haweis, " Mufic and 
Morals," p. 6. 


Sumcr is icumen in. 

The Englifh fong is as follows :- 

Original Words : 

Svmer is icumen in, 
Lhude ling cuccu, 
Growej? fed and blowej? med 
And fpringj? J?e wde nu. 
Sing cuccu. 

Awe bletej? after lomb, 
Lhou]? after calue cu, 
Bulluc fterte)?, bucke uertej?, 1 
Murie fing cuccu. 
Cuccu, cuccu. 
Wei {inges J?u cuccu, 
Ne fwik j?u nauer nu. 

Modernijed Words : 

Sumer is come in, 

Loud fing, Cuckoo ! 
Groweth feed, and bloweth mead, 
And fpring'th the wood now, 

Sing Cuckoo. 

Ewe bleateth after lamb, 

Loweth after calf [the] cow ; 
Bullock ftarteth, buck verteth, 

Merry fing, Cuckoo, 

Cuckoo, Cuckoo ! 
Well {ing'ft thou, Cuckoo, 
Nor ceafe thou never now. 

1 The Weflex pronunciation of "farteth," a verb defcribing 
a noife often made by bucks (pedere). Cf. Murray, Englifh 
Dictionary, s. " fart." 


Gbe Canon. 

The alternative Latin words, a hymn to the 
Saviour, form a motet, and fit the mufic badly. 
It feems as if a folk-fong had been adapted for 
the religious fervice of the Abbey, or as if the 
Latin hymn had been added to lend an odour 
of fandtity to the introduction of a popular 
melody into the cloifter. Such mal-adjuftment 
is deftrudtlve of all pleaiing effedt. 

The Latin hymn is as follows : 

Perfpice Chrifticola, 

Que dignacio ! 
Celicus agricola 
Pro vitis vicio, 


Non parcens, expofuit 
Mortis exicio : 

* \ 

Qui captives femivivos 

A fupplicio 

Vite donat, 
et fecum coronat 
in cell folio. 1 

1 The following is a tranflation : " Obferve, Chriftian, 
what condefcenfion ! The heavenly Hufbandman, for the fault 
of the vine, fpared not His Son, but offered Him to the fate of 
death. He reftores the half-perimed prifoners from punifhment 
to life, and crowns them with Him on the throne of heaven.'' 


Sumer 10 icumen in. 

The melody of the Canon has the compafs 
of a ninth and is in the firft mode of rhythm: 
that is, long and breve notes alternate with each 
other. The rhythm of the pes is in the fifth 
mode, the notes being all longs with the 
exception of the binary ligatures. In each 
cafe the long paufe, the paufa debita, of both 
modes is ufed. 

The Canon does not follow any of the old 
ecclefiaftical modes, but is written in the 
modern key of F major, every diatonic interval 
of that fcale being ufed. It alfo fupplies the 
firft example of a baffo ostinato or ground-bafs. 

The conformity with many of the rules of 
modern mufic, in which the clofes are compofed 
of a leading-note rifing to its proper refolution, 
is very remarkable, and indicates an advanced 
knowledge of mufical compofition in early 

ii. be Composer. 

Hiftory does not tell us who compofed " the 
moft ancient fpecimen of fecular polyphonic 
mufic now known to exift," 1 nor when or 

1 Grove, Dictionary of Mufic and Muficians, vol. iii., 
P- J 3- 


where the compofer lived. The Weffex dialed: 
of the words feems to fuggeft a familiarity with 
Berkshire or Wiltfhire, poffibly even with 
Reading itfelf; 1 but many years may have 

1 There are feveral dialed: forms which {how beyond a doubt 
that the compofer of the fong lived in the South of England. 
The moft decifive is the fyncopated 3rd perfon fing. fpringfr, 
which north of the Thames would have appeared as fpringe/? 
orjpringej ; if this latter form were inferted the line would 
not fcan. Other Southern forms are : icumen, with retention 
of the prefix /' (O.E. ge) which was generally loft in the Midland 
and Northern dialects; uertef) (O.E. feortan), with a voiced 
initial i>-found for the voicelefs/of the Midlands and North ; 
finally, the fpelling Ih for / in Ibude (O.E. hlude) and Ihoup 
(O.E. hlow(e)(?, indicating an unvoiced /-found, is only found 
in manuscripts written in the South of England, more 
efpecially in Kent. 

It is even poffible to affign the compofition of the poem to 
the weftern or central parts of the South, fince the form murie 
(O.E. myrig), with retention of the O.E. j-found, written by 
the Norman fcribe with a u as in French une, only obtains in 
thofe parts of the South (the old Weflex territory) ; the 
Kentim and more eafterly dialects would have had merle. 
Cf. L. Morfbach, " Mittelenglische Grammatik," p. 19 ff. ; 
Morris, " Specimens of Early Englifh," Part I., p. xxxvii. 

Oufeley therefore appears to have been in error when he 
defcribed the Canon as "the old Northumbrian round" on 
the ground that " the words are obvioufly Northumbrian, and 
it is probable that the mufic was alfo compofed by a north- 
countryman, for we know from Giraldus Cambrenfis that in 
his days vocal harmony was practifed chiefly in the parts of 
England north of the Humber." Cf. Naumann, " Hiftory of 
Mufic," p. 221. 


Sumer is fcumen in. 

separated the compofer from the monk who 
wrote down the Canon in the cloifter at 
Reading Abbey. 

Both words and melody bear the characters of 
a folk-fong which was poffibly handed on from 
minftrel to minftrel. This, of courfe, does not 
mean that there was no individual compofer, 
or that authorfhip was collective. On the 
contrary, as Combarieu well fays : 

" Les chanfons populaires ne font que 
des oeuvres devenues anonymes." ' 

It is probable that there exifted in England 
from early times a national fecular fong with a 
perfect diatonic fcale, and a melody differing 
entirely from Church mufic. Moreover such 
mufic was fung in parts, as we are told by 
Giraldus Cambrensis, BiiLop of St. David's. 
Writing about 1185, he fays : 

" The Britons do not fing their tunes in unifon, like 
the inhabitants of other countries, but in different parts. 
So that when a company of fingers meets to fing, as is 
ufual in this country, as many different parts are heard 
as there are fingers, who all finally unite in confonance 
and organic melody, under the foftnefs of B flat." 5 

1 " La Mufique, fes Lois, fon Evolution," p. 114. 

2 W. Chappell, " Old Englim Mufic," 1893, vol. i., p. 6. 
Cf. alfo "The Oxford Hiftory of Mufic," vol. i., p. 162. 



There were doubtlefs other fongs in existence 
shewing an equally cultivated mufical tafte. 
But no contemporary polyphonic compofition 
can for a moment compare with the Canon, 
whofe compofer muft have been one of the 
greateft muficians the world has ever known. 

iii. be transcriber. 

" The monk at Reading deferves an 
imperifhable crown of glory." ' In thefe words 
does Riemann, the learned hiftorian of mufic, 
recognife the fplendid fervice rendered by the 
monk to whom we owe the Canon. 

It is well known that the Englifh Bene- 
dictines were paflionately devoted to mufic, 
and appreciated its power "to charm their 
cares away." They devoted much time to 
this amongft the other arts that flourifhed in 
the religious communities ; hence the great 
proficiency in mufic, both theoretical and 
practical, that was attained in the fong-fchools 
which the Abbeys maintained for the fervices 
of the minfter. But fuch church mufic, fo 

1 "Gefchichte der Mufiktheorie," p. 151. 

Sumer is icumen in. 

afliduoufly cultivated, ftill retained barbarous 
combinations of found and grofs violations of 
mufical grammar, and could not compare with 
the contemporary fecular mufic either as 
regards melody or harmony. 

For many years the Church difcouraged 
fecular mufic on the ground that it was written 
in the " wanton key " (il modo lafcivo) and 
was therefore an obftacle to devotion and a 
temptation to unholy thoughts. And fo late 
as 1322 Pope John xxii. actually denounced the 
encroachments of counterpoint, alleging that 
the voluptuous harmony of thirds and fixths 
was only fit for profane ufe. This prohibition 
doubtlefs explains why fo few fpecimens of 
early fecular mufic have furvived. 

We know, however, that minftrels with 
their folk-fongs not infrequently gained accefs 
to religious houfes in order to relieve the 
monotony of the monaftic life, and it feems 
conceivable that at Reading Abbey there 
was a courageous monk who was ftruck by 
the beauty of the Canon and who, in 
fpite of ecclefiaftical prohibition, dared to 
ftudy it, to write it down, and to adapt it to 
the fervices of the choir by the addition of a 
Latin hymn. 



This much at leaft is certain that in the 
early thirteenth century there was amongft the 
brethren at Reading a fcholarly difcantor, who 
wrote down in the MS. which contained the 
calendar of the Abbey, a beautiful melody with 
a well-ordered fucceffion of tones and femi- 
tones, far in advance of any contemporary 
compofition that has furvived. "The wit 
of mufike wel he knew," and that " wit " 
has enriched the world with this mufical 

Various authorities have ftated that the 
tranfcriber was John of Fornfete, 1 keeper of 
the cartulary of Reading Abbey. But this 
ftatement is merely bafed on the fact that a 
prayer for John of Fornfete occurs in the 
margin of the Reading calendar, which the 
tranfcriber has written later in the volume. 
The entry is written in the calendar, againft 
St. Wulftan's day, 1239: " Ora, Wulftane, 
pro nostro fratre, Johanne de Fornfete." 
This is infufficient evidence for fpeaking of 
John of Fornfete as the tranfcriber of the 

Poflibly derived from Forncett in Norfolk. 

Sumer is icumen in. 
iv>. Ebe performers. 

Inftru&ions to the performers 1 where to 
make the neceffary paufes in finging are given 
in the eleven Latin lines placed in the lower 
right-hand corner of the MS. ; thofe for the 
upper four voices being in black, thofe for 
the pes in red. The original inftrudions are 
as follows : 

Upper Voices. 

" Hanc rotam cantare poflunt quatuor focii. A 
paucioribus autem quam tribus aut faltem duobus non 
debet dici, preter eos qui dicunt pedem. Canitur 
autem fie. Tacentibus ceteris, unus inchoat cum hiis 
qui tenent pedem. Et cum venerit ad primam notam 
poft crucem, inchoat alius, et fie de ceteris. Singuli 
vero repaufent ad paufaciones fcriptas, et non alibi, 
fpacio unius longae notas." 


" Hoc repetit unus quotiens opus eft, faciens 
paufacionem in fine." 

" Hoc dicit alius paufans in medio et non in fine, fet 
immediate repetens principium." 

1 Johannes of Garlandia, born in England about 1190, one 
of the earlieft writers on menfural mufic, alludes to " rondels 
and common fongs " (i.e. fecular fongs) in a manner which 
mows that they were familiar to his readers (Riemann, 
" Mufikalifches Lexikon "). 



The following is the Englifh tranflation : 

Upper Voices. 

" Four performers can fing this Rota. But it fhould 
not be fung by lefs than three or at leaft two perfons, 
apart from thofe who fing the bafs." 

" The Rota is fung thus : While the others remain 
filent, one performer begins with thofe who fing the 
bafs ; when he reaches the firft note that follows the 
ifc, another begins, and fo do the others. Each 
performer flops at the indicated paufe, and nowhere 
elfe, for the period of a longa." 


" One finger repeats this as often as neceflary, 
paufing at the end." 

" Another finger paufes in the middle inftead of at 
the end, and at once repeats the beginning." 

v. be Manuscript. 

The vellum MS. (B. M. Hart. Qj8), in which 
the Canon or "Rota" occurs, has 162 leaves 
and meafures 7^ by 5 inches. 1 The Canon is 

1 A fuller account of the MS. will be found in the " Catalogue 
of MS. Mufic in the Britim Mufeum," by A. Hughes-Hughes, 
vol. ii., p. 25 ; and in " Reading Abbey," p. 1 1 1. 

The fame MS. alfo contains a long monologue " Samfon 
dux fortiflime " in equally advanced rhythm and tonality as the 
Canon. But the fong has no harmony, and therefore does not 
mew nearly fo advanced a ftage of development ; moreover it 

requires the ufe of mufica jcta, which gives it the key of 



Sumer 10 tcumen in. 

found on fol. nb. and is in an excellent ftate 
of prefervation. 

There has been much difcuflion as to the 
date of the MS. Sir John Hawkins, writing 
in 1770, refers it to "about the middle of the 
fifteenth century." ' Burney 2 believed the date 
to be not much later than the thirteenth or 
fourteenth century, and various other writers 
have followed either the firft or fecond of 
thefe authorities. 

There is now, however, a general confenfus 
fixing the date at or about 1240, this view 
being fupported on grounds of palaeography, 
hiftory and notation. 

The hand-writing is that which prevailed 
during the firft part of the thirteenth century, 
a view which has been fupported by Sir 
Frederick Madden and by Sir E. Maunde 

G major. fMufica ficta was the application of certain fharps 
and naturals neceflary in finging but not mown in writing, 
the reafon being that thefe accidentals did not occur on the 
monochord, the inftrument ufed for teaching. In " Sumer is 
icumen in" mufica ficta is not required, fince the B flat was 
one of the notes of the monochord. 

1 "Hiftory of Mufic " (ed. 1875), vol. i., p. 202. 

2 " Hiftory of Mufic,'' vol. ii., p. 406. 



The hiftorical reafon for believing the fong 
to have been written down about the year 1 240 ' 
is that the MS. alfo contains an unfinished 
monaftic calendar written in Reading Abbey, 
a more complete copy of which, by the same 
writer, is found in the Cotton MS. Vefpafian 
E,.V. In the latter copy the lateft obit entered 
by the firft hand is that of Abbot Adam de 
Latebury or de Latebar, the eleventh Abbot of 
Reading, who died in 1238. The date of the 
MS. is therefore about 1240. 

The notation is that current at the time of 
a compofer of the thirteenth century, who 
ufed the pfeudonym " Ariftotle," and wrote 
" mufica quadrata feu menfurata." Thus Wolf, 
fpeaking of ternary ligatures, fays : 

" The form is charafteriftic of the time of Ariftotle 
. . . We meet with it in the B.M. Harl. MS , 
978. This is the MS. containing the Canon, ' Sumer 
is icumen in,' which, according to the moft recent 
refearch, muft have been written about 1240, and whofe 
notation ftill belongs to the time of Ariftotle." 2 

The Englifli words of the Canon, as well as 
the inftrudions for the upper four voices are 
in black ink, while the Latin words and the 
inftru&ions for the fingers of the pes are in red 
ink. Initial letters are either red or blue. 

1 The Palasographical Society, vol. iii., ed. by Bond and 
Thompfon, PI. 125. 

2 " Gefchichte der Menfural-Notation," vol. i., pp. 8, 12. 


Sumcr is icumen in. 

Various contemporary alterations have been 
made in the MS. by the fame hand and in the 
fame ink, fome being alterations after erafure, 
and fome without erafure. Except for the pes, 
the Canon feems to have been written in the 
firft inftance in breves, fome of which were 
afterwards altered into longs. 

The alterations have been carefully defcribed 
by H. E. Wooldridge, who fuggefts the form 
the Canon probably had before the alterations, 
and to whom the reader may be referred 
for fuller details. The following are his 
conclufions : 

" The alterations of the melody which, it will be 
feen, are with one exception confined to paflages near 
the clofe though naturally of confiderable intereft, are 
not of very great importance ; all are in fome fenfe 
improvements, but none can be faid to affect the eflential 
form of the work, which was as diftinct before they were 
made as it is at prefent. It is evident, therefore, that 
this famous page of MS. does not prefent to us, as has 
fometimes been fuppofed, a record of the writer's efforts 
towards the tranfformation either of an original fubject 
or of fome previously exifting melody into a canon, fince 
the mufic already apparently difplayed an almoft perfect 
fpecimen of this form of compofition when it was firft 
written down." 1 

' " The Oxford Hiftory of Mufic," vol. i., p. 331. Cf. alfo 
"Early Englim Harmony," 1897, edited byH. E. Wooldridge, 
p. ix. 



Moft of the MSS. preferved in the library at 
Reading Abbey perifhed at the diffolution of 
the monafteries. A few, however, have furvived, 
and in the Britifh Mufeum, the Bodleian and 
elfewhere, are treafured fome fine illuminated 
MSS., 1 embellished with fanciful paintings and 
miniatures in gold, blue, green, red and other 
colours. At thefe artiftic productions various 
{killed craftsmen, calligraphers, rubricators, 
illuminators, miniaturifts and binders worked 
jointly, each contributing the fpecial work in 
which he excelled. Although from a decorative 
point of view the MS. containing " Sumer is 
icumen in " takes a humble place, in historical 
importance it is facile princeps. 

vi. be 1barmon\>. 

" This Harleian MS. is of the greateft 
intereft in the hiftory of harmony." 2 Thus 
does Couflemaker refer to the importance of 
the Canon for students of the evolution of 

For many centuries octaves, fifths and 
fourths were perfiftently ufed to the exclufion 
of thirds and fixths which appear to us fuch 

1 A defcriptive lift will be found in "Reading Abbey," 
pp. 103 ff. 

* " L'Art Harmonique," p. 150. 


Sumer is icumen in. 

natural confonances. Even the early contra- 
puntifts felt obliged to reftricl themfelves to 
the time-honoured intervals, and it was not 
until the middle of the fourteenth century 
that the old progreffions of fourths and fifths 
were abandoned, and that thirds and fixths 
were generally admitted amongft mufical 

There are, however, references by various 
writers to the earlier ufe of thefc intervals by 
the beft difcantors, efpecially in England and 
in the diftrict known as the " Weft Country," 
and " Sumer is icumen in " poffeffes great 
intereft as one of the earlieft compofitions to 
exhibit the free ufe of thirds and fixths. 1 
Combarieu indeed fays : 

" Its admirable harmony is in fact precifely due to 
thirds and fixths, although there are fome confecutive 
fifths." * 

It would probably have been difficult to 
conftrucl: fo complicated a compofition without 
the ufe of thirds, and, as CoufTemaker fuggefts, 
it may be that the compofitions of this kind 
led by degrees to the admiffion of thirds and 
fixths as confonances. 3 

1 An account of the introduction of thirds and fixths will 
be found in the " Oxford Hiftory of Mufic," vol. i., pp. 1 56 ff. 

2 " La Mufique, ses Lois, son Evolution," p. 121. 

3 " L J Art Harmonique," p. 73. 



Another remarkable feature is the ufe of the 
major feventh as a leading note, and the various 
harmonic progreffions have as intimate a 
connection with the key-note as in modern 
mufic. In the words of Hope : 

" The earlieft ufe of the major feventh or marpened 
leading note partially, if not wholly, is found in the 
Englim Rota Sumer is i-cumen in.' " ' 

The following analyfis of the part-writing of 
the Canon has been given by W. S. Rockftro : 

" Side by fide with paflages of rudeft Difcant, it 
exhibits progreffions which might well have parted 
uncenfured in the far later days of Paleftrina. The 
4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 24th bars are in ftrict Two- 
Part Counterpoint of the Firft and Second Order, of 
irreproachable purity. But, in parting from the gth 
to the loth, and from the I3th to the I4th bars, a 
flagrant violation of the firft cardinal rule refults in the 
formation of Confecutive Fifths between the firft and 
third Cantus parts in the one cafe, and between the 
fecond and fourth Cantus in the other. The fame rule 
is broken, between Cantus II. and Bartus I., in parting 
from bar 17 to bar 18 ; and, in bars 37, 38, 39, a 
fimilar infraction of the rule produces no lefs than three 
Confecutive Fifths between Cantus I. and Baflus II. 
Between bars 29 and 30, Cantus I. and II. fing 
Confecutive Unifons; and the error is repeated, between 
bars 33, 34, by Cantus II. and Cantus III., fimul- 
taneoufly with Confecutive Fifths between both thefe 
Parts and Cantus I. Similar faults are repeated, as the 
Rota proceeds, with perfiftent regularity. 

1 " Medieval Mufic," p 122. 
2 7 

Sinner is icumen in. 

" Now, the fmooth progreffions fhown in the 4th, 
8th, and 24th bars are as ftringently forbidden in the 
Diaphonia of the eleventh and twelfth centuries as the 
Confecutive Fifths in bars 37, 38, and 39 are in the 
Counterpoint of the fifteenth and fixteenth, or even. in 
that of the fourteenth century. To which of thefe 
epochs, then, are we to refer the Rota ? The peculiarity 
of the Part-Writing clearly affords us no means what- 
ever of anfwering the queftion, but is calculated rather 
to miflead than to throw new light upon the point at 

\>ii. Ebe Dotation. 

The mufical notes are the longa ^ a fquare 
with a ftem, and the breDis, a diamond-fhaped 
note without a ftem. In one place i.e. the 
laft note but one in the fourth line (above 
the word " ne ") the fcribe has apparently 
forgotten to give a longa its ftem. Each longa 
is perfed: when followed by another longa , and 
imperfect when followed by a brevis. 

There are alfo illuftrations of the ligatures 
ufed in medieval mufic. Thus in the firft 
line we have three conjunct lozenge-fhaped 
notes defcending obliquely towards the right, 
the firft one having a defcending tail, 

1 Grove, "Dictionary of Mufic and Muflcians," vol. iv., 
P- 753- 


She IRotation. 

thus /*'.' Again in the pes two notes are 
bonded, i.e. written one above the other and 
joined by a line, the loweft one being fung 

The notes are black and are written on 
a ftave of fix red lines. 2 There are neither 
marks for time, red notes, nor the white open 
notes which were in ufe in the following 

In certain places the ftave is marked by 
fhort upright lines, which indicate the ends of 
the muiical phrafes, and (how that a frefli 
breath is to be taken. They have nothing in 
common with the bar line, which did not 
enter into mufic notation until fome centuries 

The Canon is in the modern key of F major, 
having B flat marked on each ftave, juft as in 
a modern compofition in one flat, the letter C 

1 There has been fome difcuflion as to the corred: inter- 
pretation of thefe notes. Cf. Chappell, " Old Englim 
Popular Mufic, 1893," vol. i., p. 13 ; Wolf, "Gefchichte der 
Menfural-Notation," vol. i., p. 8 ; Couflemaker, " Hiftoire 
de 1'Harmonie au Moyen Age," p. 199. 

* If the higheft line of the fcore be ignored, the mufic will 
correfpond with the modern tenor clef, and can eafily be read. 


Sumcr is icumen in. 

being alfo written as a clef. Only one ftave is 
ufed, and a ^ indicates the point at which 
each fucceffive voice enters. 

It is interefting to obferve that the notation 
employed in the Canon correfponds with that 
of Franco. That author, moreover, always 
ufed the exact number of lines and fpaces in 
his ftave that are needed to include the entire 
range of his vocal parts. 1 The fame principle 
is adopted in the Canon. 

\>iii. ftbe fIDofcem Score. 

The Canon is reproduced in modern 
notation to facilitate its general ufe. 2 

The C clef of the original is replaced by 
the G clef for the upper four voices, and the 
F clef for the pes. 

The fquare black-tailed notes, where perfect 
by pofition (i.e. equivalent to three fhorter 

1 Grove, "Dictionary of Mufic and Muficians," vol. ii., 
p. 102. 

2 Meflrs. Novello and Co., Ltd., publifh feveral verfions 
adapted for three, four or fix voices (i^d. each). There 
are alfo verfions for children. 



notes), are replaced by dotted femibreves ; 
where imperfect by pofition by femibreves 
without dots. The untailed lozenge-fhaped 
notes are replaced by minims. 

In bar four the three conjunct lozenge- 
fhaped notes having an oblique tail or tractus 
are replaced by three minims. In bar four 
and the laft bar of the fes the two notes in 
ligature are replaced by minims. 

For the time-fignature the modern meafure 
?- is the moft convenient. 

The accompanying fcore is that edited by 
W. S. Rockftro. The Canon may be fung 
either by four trebles and two tenors (or bafles), 
or by four tenors and two baffes, in either cafe 
without inftrumental accompaniment. It will 
be obferved that fome liberties have been taken 
both with the words and the mufic. A modern 
fcore with the original words will be found in 
Grove's Dictionary of Mufic, vol. iv., p. 750. 

Sumer is icuincn in. 

(or TENOB). 

2nd TBEBLF. 
(or TENOR). 

(or TENOR). 

(or TENOR). 

1st BASS 

(called- PES in 

the original 


2nd ]>ASS. 


^g"*g 1 


P^ T\ 

Sura - mer 


a - 

com - i 

. 1 t 
ng in, ... 


_c= =i_ 

Loud now 

** i^- 

sing cue - 


1 . 
Sum - mer 

is a - 



|. - | 

&) . rj < ^ f 





cue - 




now . 

! \ 


z** 1 






F^^ 1 



cue - 




^ ^ 


1 . 1 





\ - 





_. =3 






a t 






- koo, 

g? -, 



Grow - e 



seed, and blow - eth mead, and 


L * 

com - ing 




Loud \ 



sing cue - koo, 



Sum - n 





is a - com - ing in, ... 

s : . : . 




E , : , 

- koo, 




cue - - koo, now 
^ ' i ~ & ' \ 

i. " 




- koo, 

^- g ' 






cue - - koo, 





-&- --- 



Sumer is icumen in. 

Sumer is icumen in 

spring the woods a - new. 

fcp J I 

S-J m-= : =M-S' 

Sing cue - koo, 

Ewe now 

grow-eth seed, and blow- eth mead, and spring the woods a -new, 


Loud now sing cue - koo, 

Grow -eth seed, and blow -eth mead, and spring the 

Sum - mer is a - com - ing in, . . . Loud now sing cue - koo, 

Grow -eth 

Sing cue - koo, 

sing cue - koo, now . . sing 


cue - koo, now 

sing cue - koo, 



bleat - eth af ter lamb, loweth af - ter calf the cow, 

Bui - lock start-eth, 



cue - koo, 

Ewe now bleat -eth af - ter lamb, loweth af - ter calf the 

woods a - new, 

Sing cue - koo, 

Ewe now bleat-eth 


seed, and blow- eth mead, and spring the woods a - new, 

Sing cue 

cue - koo, 

sing cue - koo, 

now . . sing cue 

"I I 

cue - koo, now . . sing cue - koo, 

sing cue 


r^ f | . 

Sumer is icumen in. 


Sumer is icumen in. 


buck now vert - eth, mer - ry sing cue - koo, 



cow. Bui - lock start - eth, buck now vert - eth, mer - ry sing cue 


at ter lamb, loweth af - ter calf the cow. 

Bui - lock start - eth, 

- koo, 

Ewe now bleat - eth af - ter lamb, and af - ter calf the 






cue - koo, now . . sing cue 

- koo, 

now . . sing 

- ~j &- 


I , i 

I ^H 1 SP ~t 

sing cue 

I 1st time. 

cue - koo, . . well sing'st thou cue - koo, nor . . cease thou nev - er 

- koo, 

cue koo, 


o, . . well sing'st thou cue- 

buck now vert - eth, mer - ry sing cue - koo, 

cue - koo, 



bul - lock start - eth, buck now vert - eth, mer - ry sing cue 

1 1 *-m 1 ^n 1 r>_j^-(& ii ~ T f*5 ' 

- koo, 

sing cue koo, now . . sing cue 

- koo, now . . sing 



sing cue 


Sumer is icumen in. 

Sumcr is icumen in. 


Sum- mer is a - com -ing in, . . Loud now sing cue - koo, 

koo, nor . . cease thou nev - er now. 

Sum mr is a - com ing 

cue koo, . . well sing'st thou cue- koo, 

nor . . cease thou nev - cr now. 

I i h- 1 i i 

- koo, 

cue koo, cue - - koo, . . well sing'st thou cue - koo, 

- koo, 

sing cue koo, now . . sing cue - koo, 

koo, now . . sing 

cue - koo, 

! _ J 


cue - koo, 

1 gT=J*S ^3 


I Last time. 

Grow - eth seed, and blow - eth mead, and cease thou nev - er now. 

in, . . Loud now sing cue - koo, 

well sing'st thou cue - koo. 

Sum - mer is a com - ing in, . . loud now sing cue - koo. 



nor . . cease thou nev - er now, 

mer - ry sing cue - koo. 


sing cue - koo, now . . sing cue 



now . . sing cue - koo, 


sing cue - - koo. 

&t^ r-t-PF=P=g -g I is [< l=s= 


Sumer ts tcumen tn. 


Sumer 10 icumen in. 

ir. "Hn attuning prediction.' 

" An amazing production ' is H. E. 
Wooldridge's defcription of this Canon, which 
has been "fo often mentioned by hiftorians and 
with ever-increafing furprife and admiration."' 
It may be of intereft to append fome further 
appreciations arranged mainly in chronological 
fequence. The bibliographical references will 
be ufeful to readers who defire to ftudy the 
Canon in greater detail. 

English and ^American. 

Charles Burney :- 

" This precept (i.e. the prohibition of 
fifths and eighths in fucceffion) feems to 
have been fo much unknown or difre- 
garded by the compofer of the Canon, 
' Sumer is i cumen in,' that the violation 
of a rule fo earneftly recommended by 
theorifts and religioufly obferved by 
practicians ever fince the laws of harmony 
were eftablrfhed, excites a fufpicion that 
this Canon is much more ancient than has 
been imagined." 

1 " The Oxford Hiftory of Mufic," vol. i., pp. 326-7. 

2 "Hiftory of Mufic (1782)," vol. ii., p. 425. 


Hn Hmasing production. 

}. Stafford Smith :- 

" ' Sumer is icomen ' is written in the 
favourite meafure of the ancient Monks, 
viz. Hemiola. This very ancient Englifh 
poetry, united with a Paftoral Air, is an 
infantine attempt at compofition." ' 

Thomas Bufby : 

" This fpecimen of harmonical ftructure 
(the firft example of counterpoint in fix 
parts) with all its defeats is very fuperior 
to anything extant of the fame period." 2 

W. Chappell : 

" The earlieft fecular compofition, in 
parts, known to exift in any country." 3 

Alexander J. Ellis :- 

" This Cuckoo Song, which is fo great 
a mufical curiofity, is alfo a valuable 
contribution to our knowledge of early 
Englifh pronunciation." 4 

1 "Mufica Antica (1812)," p. 8. 

2 " Hiftory of Mufic (1819)," vol. i., p. 402. 

3 "Popular Mufic of the Olden Time "(ist ed.), vol.i., p. 21. 

4 " Early Englifh Pronunciation " (Chaucer Society), 1869, 
Part ii., p. 422 ff., where many philological details are given. 


Sumer 10 icumen in. 

H. E. Wooldridge : 

" The earlieft example of Englifli fecular 

mufic." ' 

" Contains the earlieft canon, and the 
earlieft perfiftently repeated bafs, as yet 

F. L. Ritter :- 

" One of the oldeft documents of fecular 
mufic in contrapuntal form, and a proof 
that at this early epoch harmonic art muft 
have made great progrefs in England." 3 

Henry Davey : 

" So far as we know, not a piece endurable 
by modern ears exifted before 1400, 
or ever did exift, fave and except only 
' Sumer is icumen in.' : 
" Englifti muficians invented the art of 
mufical composition." 4 

Sir Hubert H. Parry :- 

" The famous Englifti tune, ' Sumer is 
icumen in,' which is attributed to the 
thirteenth century, is remarkable not only 
on account of its rhythmical character, 

1 "Oxford Hiftory of Mufic," vol. ii., p. 99. 
"Chappell, "Old Englifh Popular Mufic" (ed. 1893), 
vol. i., p. 9. 

3 " Mufic in England and Mufic in America," p. 22. 
" Hiftory of Mufic," pp. 50, 52. 


Hn Bmasino production. 

but alfo on account of its obvious attempt 
at fupplying a harmonious accompani- 

ment." 1 

W. H. Cummings : 

" If we regard this muiic from the points 
of perfect tonality, accent, rhythm and 
harmony, we fhall in vain fearch the 
archives (of the thirteenth or fucceeding 
century) of any country for its parallel, or 
for mufic approaching it in excellence and 


E. Walker :- 

" It combines beauty of found and inge- 
nuity of workmanfhip in a way that has 
no parallel in early mufic." 

" Artiftically we may fay that nothing 
written for more than two hundred years 
afterwards can touch it." 3 

J. E. Matthew :- 

" The ftyle of the competition, both in 
melody and harmony, is far in advance of 
anything known at that time." 4 

1 " Oxford Hiftory of Mufic," vol. iii., p. 1 1. 

3 Northumbrian Small Pipes Society, Report of Annual 
Meeting, 1897, p. 2O. 

3 " Hiftory of Mufic in England," p. 9. 

4 " Manual of Mufical Hiftory," p. 88. 


Sumer is icumen in. 
F. T. Croweft : 



' Sumer is icumen in ' is probably the 
greateft mufical curiofity extant. It is the 
oldeft piece of polyphonic and canonical 
compofition known to be in exiftence, 
and is reputed to be alfo the oldeft fong 
with mufical notes attached to it." 1 

R. C. Hope : 

" In the Britifh Mufeum there is a round, 
the well-known ' Sumer is icumen in,' 
probably the moft ancient example of its 
kind in exiftence." 

" Thirds, fixths, and pafling notes are 
made ufe of." 

" It is a folk-fong pure and fimple, and 
the firft Englifh fong, with or without 
mufic forthcoming." 2 

F. A. G. Ouseley :- 

" Unqueftionably the oldeft piece of 
polyphonic and canonical compofition 
known to be in exiftence." 3 

1 "The Story of Britifh Mufic," p. 275, et pajftm. 

2 "Medieval Mufic," pp. 104, 122. 

3 Naumann, " Hiftory of Mufic," p. 220. 


Hn Hma3iti6 production. 

C. F. Abdy Williams :- 

" The famous Canon, ' Sumer is icumen 
in,' cannot be a fingle effort ; it muft 
have been preceded by hundreds of fimilar 
compofitions, or it could not have reached 
fo high a ftandard of development." ' 

W. Barclay Squire : 

" The exiftence of an Englifh School of 
Mufic extraordinarily advanced for its 
time is proved by the celebrated ' rota ' 
or round, * Sumer is y-cumen in.' " 2 

" The earlieft extant example of a round 
is the well-known l Sumer is icumen in.'" 3 

D. Francis Tovey : 

" No work within two centuries of the 
date of ' Sumer is icumen in ' attains a 
ftyle fo nearly intelligible to modern ears. 
Its richnefs and firmnefs of harmony are 
fuch that the frequent ufe of confecutive 
fifths and octaves, in ftricl: accordance 
with thirteenth century principles, has to 
our ears all the effect of a feries of 

1 " The Story of Notation," p. 1 12. 

2 " Dictionary of National Biography," s. Dunftable. 

3 " Grove, Dictionary of Mufic and Muficians," vol. iv., 
p. 165. 


Sumcr is icumen in. 

grammatical blunders, fo fharply does it 
contrast with the fmooth counterpoint of 
the reft." ' 

W. S. Pratt :- 

" A famous inftance of a true four-part 
canon which refts on a brief two-part 
canonic burden that is repeated over and 
over, while the chief canon proceeds." 

" The burden fings monotonoufly back 
and forth between tonic and dominant 

M. H. Glyn : 

" But for ' Summer is i-cumen in ' we 
fhould not have known that in the 
thirteenth century any monk would have 
dared to ftudy the folk-mufic and bring 
it within the four walls of a monastery." 3 

W. A. J. Ford : 

" An age that produced ' Sumer is a 
cumin in ' (1240) must have been prolific 
of melody. It is impoffible to regard it 
as an ifolated phenomenon." 4 

1 " Encyclopedia Britannica," vol. xix., p. 75. 

2 " Hiftory of Mufic," pp. 80- 1. 

3 li Analyfis of the Evolution of the Mufical Form," p. 121. 
" Encyclopae dia Britannica," vol. xxv., p. 404. 


Hn Hmasino production. 

J. N. Forkel :- 

" An ancient and remarkable work of 
art." ' 

E. de CoufTemaker : 

u This Harleian MS. is of the greatest 
interest in the hiftory of harmony." 2 

E. Naumann : 

" ' Sumer is icumen in ' is in the key of 
F major, and not in any of the Church 
modes, and is in stricl: conformity with 
the rules of modern mufic in its clofes, 
which are uniformly compofed of a 
leading-note rifing to its proper refo- 
lution." 3 

F.-J. Fens : 

" No wonder the compofer of the Canon 
was unable to avoid the confecutive fifths 
and octaves which all earlier difcantors 
had conftantly ufed. In fact we may 
fafely confider him as the greateft 
mufician of the period, in fpite of the 
imperfections of his compofition." 4 

' " Gefchichte der Mufik," vol. ii., p. 490. 

2 " L'Art Harmonique," p. 150. 

3 " Hiftory of Mufic," ed. by Oufeley," vol. i., p. 555. 

4 " Hiftoire de la Mufique," vol. v., p. 320. 


Sinner 10 fcumen in. 
Guido Adler : 

" The Engliili Canon feems to have fallen 
from heaven like a meteor." 

" The competition is obvioufly not a 
timple infpiration, but a carefully thought 
out work of art." ' 

A. W. Ambros : 

" The whole competition proves a well- 
contidered ftudy of the combination of 
tones, and is a notable memorial of 
Englifli art in the earlieft times." 2 

S. Vantyn : 

" The Rota of Reading is the oldeft MS. 
of any polyphonic mutic." 


We may fafely conclude that there was 
an Englifli school of mutic at Reading in 
the thirteenth century." 3 

1 " Vierteljahrfchriftf. Mujikwijjenfchaft" 1886, pp. 302, 308. 

2 " Gefchichte der Mufik," vol. ii., p. 515. 


" L'Evolution de la Mufique en Angleterre," pp. 16, 18. 


Hn Hmasing Ipvofcuction. 

Jules Combarieu : 

" The charming madrigal ' Sumer is 
icumen in ' is a very beautiful and famous 
Englifh polyphonic compofition ; it owes 
its admirable harmony, in fpite of fome 
confecutive fifths, mainly to the ufe of 
thirds and fixths." ' 

W. Nagel :- 

" The Canon is in the highest degree 
remarkable for its tonality." 2 

Otto Klauwell : 

The compofition is a quite astonifhing 
piece of harmony, confidering its date." 3 

Victor Lederer : 

" The high ftandard of mufical art, which 
this Canon difplays, proves clearly that it 
did not originate alone. There inuft have 
been preceding mufical development, 
although at prefent we are ignorant of it." 4 

1 " La Mufique, fes Lois, fon Evolution," p. 120. 

2 " Gefchichte der Mufik in England," vol. i., p. 77. 

3 " Der Canon in seiner Gefchichtlichen Entwickelung " 

4 " Ueber Heimat und Urfprung der Mehrftimmigen 
Tonkunft," p. 12. 




IN June 1 8th, 1913, the 792110! anni- 
verfary of the founding of Reading 
Abbey by Henry Beauclerc, a 
Memorial Tablet in honour of the Canon was 
unveiled by Dr. H. P. Allen, of New College, 
Oxford, Choragus in the Univerfity. The 
Tablet is placed in the famous Chapter Houfe 
that has been the fcene of fo many great 
national functions, and not far from the 
Memorials erected in honour of Hugh de Boves 
and Hugh Cook Faringdon, the firft and laft 
Abbots of Reading. 

The central flab is of yellow magnefian 
limeftone, meafuring 4 feet by 3 feet, and 
prefents the " Song " in facfimile. The black 
notes and words are cut into the ftone and 


Sumer (0 tcumen in. 

filled in with black maftic cement, the red and 
blue initials, the red ftave, and the red Latin 
words being reproduced in maftic of appropriate 

This flab forms a panel let into the larger 
flab of blue Foreft of Dean ftone, meafuring 
7 feet by 4 feet, and adorned with the arms of 
Reading Abbey (azure three efcallops or). It 
bears the following Infcription : 

"Sumer is icumen in." 


The Tablet was defigned by Mr. W. 
Ravenfcroft, F.S.A., the work being executed 
by Mr. W. S. Frith, fculptor. 


(The Epilogue. 

Reading Abbey during the Middle Ages 
played an important role on the ftage of our 
religious and political hiftory. Few of our 
monaftic foundations were fo often chofen 
for the holding of Parliaments, for royal 
marriages and funerals, or for great fecular 
and eccleiiaftical councils. 

As a home of Chriftian worfhip and aclive 
benevolence the Abbey was alfo greatly 
diftinguifhed. " Ever at the facred gates fat 
Mercy pouring out relief from a never-failing 
ftore to the poor and the fuffering ; ever 
within the facred aifles the voices of holy 
men were pealing heavenwards for the fins 
of mankind." 

The hour of its dirTolution struck in 1539, 
when fo many great monaftic foundations 
came to a dramatic clofe. The mitred 
Abbot of Reading paffed along a Dia dolor osa 
to die a traitor's death on the gibbet and the 
quartering-block. The brethren were ex- 
pelled from their well-loved cloifters into a 
cold, unfympathetic world. The Abbey was 
plundered by facrilegious hands and dug out 
as a common quarry. 

To-day little .remains but crumbling ruins. 
The fire is extinguifhed on the altar, the 


Sinner is icumen in. 

voice of prayer and thankfgiving is filent, the 
mufic is hufhed in the choir. Abbot, prior, 
cantor, facrift, monk have made their exit 
for ever. 

But the part played by the Abbey in the 
hiftory of mufic will be held in perpetual 
remembrance. This glory muft abide even 
when " Time's effacing finger" has removed 
the laft veftige of that chef cTaeuvre of 
architecture which Henry Beauclerc dedicated 
to the honour of God and the fervice of 
man, and in which he found his final refting- 

^^*^'y F ^^ f ^ > if ^v^^^, 
^A?V%SSv^ l S l *vv5' 1 

- , 

Abbey, Reading 7, 9, 16, 

18, 25, 46, 47, 48 

Abbots of Reading 23, 46, 48 

Allen, H. P 46 

Alterations in MS 24 

" Amazing production," an 36 

"Ariftotle" 23 

Arms of Reading Abbey 47 

Baflb oftinato .... .... 14 

Beauclerc, Henry 7, 46, 50 

Benedictines, Englifh .... 17 

Bibliographical references 36 
Bodleian, MSS. at the .... 11,25 

Britifh Mufeum, MSS. at the 

9, 21, 23, 25 
Burden, the .... .... 42 

Burney, Charles .... 22, 36 


Calendar of Abbey 
Cambrenfis, Giraldus ... 
Canon, compofer of the 
date of 
harmony of 

27, 39, 
manufcript of 


15, 16 


9, 22, 23 

.... 9.38 
.... 9, 25, 

M, 43, 45 

23, 24, 25 

melody of .... 14, 39 
,, memorial of .... 46 
modern verfion of 32 
,, notation of 22,23,28,30 
,, palaeography of 22 

part-writing of.... 27, 28 
rhythm of 14, 38, 39 
,, tranfcriber of .... 17, 19 
,, words of .... 12 

Children, verfions for .... 30 
Church mufic .... .... 16, 17 

Sumei' is icumen in. 


Clef, the .... ... 30 Garlandia, Johannes of 20 

Compofer, the .... .... 14, 17 Giraldus Cambrenfis .... 15, 1 6 

Confecutive fifths 26, 27, 28, Ground-bafs .... .... 14 

43, 45 
Cotton MS. 23 Ifo 

Counterpoint 28,37,42 Harleian MS. 978. 21,23, 

Cuckoo, note of the .... n ,, ' ' 

Cuckoo-fong, the 11,12,37 Harmony of the Canon 

9, 2 5> 27, 39, 4', 43. 45 

3D Hawkins, Sir John .... 22 

c ~ Hemiola .... 37 

Date of Canon.... 9.22,23 R B eauclerc -7d6co 

Dialefts, Englim 15 \ 7r^ A Akt \ f, 

' W 5 ,r 3 HughCookFanngdon, Abbot 46 

wellex o, 12, 15 R , de fio Abbot 6 

Difcantor, a fcholarly .... 19 

'" 3 

t ,j. A ^ o Illuminated MSS. at Reading 2 c 

Earlieit Canon known.... 9, 38 T n 

^ ,.n r ,' J I nftructions to performers 20, 21 

Englifh fong 11,38,40 

,, polyphonic music 40,44 _ 

Englifh Benediclines .... 17 

diale&s .... 15 John of Fornfete .... 19 

pronunciation, early 37 John XXII., Pope .... 18 
,, fchool of mufic 10,44 
fong, earlieft 11,38,40 fj 

,, words of Canon 10, 

, r,~ Key of F ma or .... 14, -29 

1 ~> *j 

Epilogue, the .... .... 46 


at Latebury, Abbot Adam de 23 

Latin words of Canon 13, 23 

F major, key of .... 14, 29 Leading note, the .. 14, 27 

"harteth," meaning of 12 Ligatures, the 14,28,29,31 
Fifths, confecutive 26, 27, 28, 

43, 45 /to 

Folk-fong, a .... 13, 16, 40 

Fornfete, John of .... 19 Madden, Sir F. .... 22 

Franco, the notation of 30 Madrigal, a charming .... 45 

Frith, W. S 47 Major feventh, the .... 27 



Manufcript of Canon .... 21, 

2 3> 24, 25 
Manufcripts at the Bodleian 

ii, 25 
,, at the Britifh 

Mufeum .... 9, 21, 23, 25 
,, at Reading 25 

Melody of Canon .... 14,39 
Memorial tablet, the .... 46 
Menfural mufic .... 20 

Modern verfion, the .. 30 

Monks at Reading .... 8, 17 

Motet, a 13 

Mufic, Englifh fchool of 10, 44 
,, menfural .... 20 

ZMuJica ficta .... .... 21, 22 

Mufical notes of Canon 28, 

29. 3 

Northumbrian round, a 15 
Notation, the 22, 23, 28, 30 

Palaeography, the .... 22 

Part-writing, the .... 27, 28 

Paufa debita .... .... 14 

Performers, the ... 20, 21 

Perfpice, Chrifticola .... 13 

Pes, the 14,20,21,23,24,29,30 
Polyphonic mufic, earlieft 40, 44 

Pope John XXII 18 

Pronunciation, early Englifh 37 


Ravenfcroft, W. .... 47 

Reading Abbey 7, 9, 16, 18, 

25, 46, 47, 48 

Reading, Abbots of 23, 46, 48 
,, monks at .... 8, 17 
References, bibliographical 36 
Rhythm of Canon 14, 38, 39 
Rockftro, W. S. .... 27, 13 

Rondels 20 

"Samfon dux fortiffime" 21 
Sixths, ufe of 18, 26, 40, 45 
Southern England, dialect of 1 5 

St. Wulftan 19 

Stave, the .... .... 29, 30 

" Sumer is icumen in, 1 ' 

cf. Canon .... 32 

Tablet, the memorial .... 46 

Thirds, ufe of 18, 26, 40, 45 
Thompfon, Sir Maunde 22 
Time-fignature, the .... 31 

Tractus, the .... .... 31 

Tranfcriber, the .... 17, 19 

Verfion, the modern .... 30 
'' Verteth," meaning of 12 


" Wanton key," the .... 18 

WefTex dialed: 10, 12, 15 

Wright, J ......... 10 

Wulftan, St ......... 19